Catholic women have congratulated Kamala Harris on becoming the US vice-president elect, as they also expressed their hope that her example will filter into the Catholic Church.

– “We wait in hope for the Catholic Church… to follow the example” of president-elect Joe Biden in placing trust in a woman of colour

In a statement November 9, the Catholic Women’s Council (CWC) – a global umbrella group of Catholic women’s rights networks – said it was “delighted” with Harris’ rise to the position of ‘number two’ in the executive branch of the US government.

“You having broken another glass ceiling for women… encourages and strengthens us in our struggle for dignity and equality for women worldwide”, the CWC told Harris, who when she is sworn in next January will become the first woman, the first African American and the first Asian American to hold the post of US vice president.

“Your victory inspires future generations of minority and marginalized women not just in the USA but also around the world”, the group added.

“Your victory is like the sunrise on the horizon of hope for women. You motivate us to continue unwaveringly on our path – against the oppression of women universally”, the CWC continued in its congratulatory note to Harris.

The CWC said it “deeply appreciate[d] the courage and the trust of President Elect Joe Biden in your ability as a woman of colour and descendant of migrant parents, to be his running mate”.

“We wait in hope for the Catholic Church as a global player to follow the example of… faithful follower Joe Biden, to implement respect for the dignity and equal rights of women, which would have an immense positive influence on societies worldwide where women’s dignity continues to be violated”, the Catholic women’s rights group continued.

It concluded its statement wishing Harris and Biden “God’s blessings and all the best! We are at your side!”

– “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last”

Before being elected to the vice-presidency in the 2020 presidential race, Harris served as a district attorney in San Francisco from 2004-2011, as California Attorney General from 2011-2017 and as a US senator from California from 2017-2020.

The 56-year-old is a multiracial American of both Indian Tamil and Afro-Jamaican descent.

As soon as the Biden-Harris crossed November 7 the threshold of the 270 electoral college votes needed to claim the presidency, Harris took to Twitter to declare that she and Biden “are ready to get to work on behalf of the American people”.

“Now the real work begins. To beat this pandemic. To rebuild our economy. To root out systemic racism in our justice system and society. To combat the climate crisis. To heal the soul of our nation. The road ahead won’t be easy. But America is ready. And so are Joe Biden and I”, the new vice-president wrote in a November 8 tweet.

As she gave her first address as vice-president elect Saturday, Harris said she was “thinking about my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, and the generations of Black women who came before me who believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible” – where a woman like her could rise to such high office.

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last – because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”, Harris also said on Saturday night with regard to her ascent and her example.

“To the American people – no matter who you voted for – I will strive to be a Vice President like Joe Biden was to President Barack Obama: loyal, honest, and prepared, waking up every day thinking of you and your families”, Harris also promised the population.

More news on Novena from the US:

US Bishops congratulate Biden-Harris, call on politicians “to come together in a spirit of national unity” post-election

Analysis: Biden has won the US election. Now begins his real test – to unite the nation


Progressive Catholic journalist, author and educator. Working on social justice, equality and Church renewal.